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How to keep fit at home

Don’t have a gym membership? No problem! You can get active from the comfort of your home and achieve the same results that you would in a gym; all you need is a healthy mix of dedication and motivation. 

Engaging in physical activity will boost your energy levels, improve your mood and build up your strength and mobility. Keeping active can also help to reduce health risks such as heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol, helping you to live a happier and healthier life. 

Whether you’re looking to save money from a gym membership or avoiding the harsh weathers outside during winter months, this article will provide you with tips on how to keep fit at home and how to keep motivated. 

Here’s what we'll cover: 

Setting goals

First things first: identify your fitness goals. Establishing an end goal will help you to stay motivated, however, it is important that these targets are:

Specific

So that you have something to monitor and work towards. If your goal is ‘I want to lose weight’, you will struggle to stay motivated, as you don’t know how much weight you are aiming to lose. Clarify the amount of weight you hope to lose and the amount of time you hope to lose it in, but remember to also be:

Realistic

Don’t make things too hard for yourself by setting unrealistic goals, because the likelihood is you won’t see the results you want and this may de-motivate you. If you are aiming to lose weight, set yourself smaller and more achievable goals, such as ‘I am going to lose 1-2lbs each week for two months. Longer term goals such as this will help you to focus on the bigger picture and will make maintaining the weight loss and active lifestyle easier. You can find a few tips on how to lose weight fast here, but don’t expect it to happen overnight with minimal effort!

You can monitor your progress and adjust your goals where you see fit to ensure that your targets are right for you. 

Tips to keep fit at home

Tidy and allocate a fitness area

Having a clean space for you to stay fit in could help you to stay in the ‘fitness zone’. For example, if you had a spare room to use for working out in, you could designate this as your workout area, keeping any equipment here and ensuring it is kept clean. This will help you to concentrate when in this room, as it is specifically used for working out in and will prevent you from getting distracted. Finding a clutter-free spot in the house to focus on working out can help to keep us on track.

Wear comfy clothes

You may already have some workout clothes in your cupboard but you only really need a comfy T-shirt and shorts to complete some exercises! Wearing the right clothes will allow you a full range of movement to keep active in. It is also important for you to wear appropriate footwear, such as trainers, as this will protect you from sustaining injuries. 

Make use of what you have

There are areas of your house that you can use for exercise - without the use of any equipment! Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Use stairs for step-ups or tricep dips to strengthen your legs and arms
  • Use your sofa for elevated push-ups to work on your arms and chest
  • Use your chairs for seated squats to build on your hamstrings and glutes
  • Use your wall for wall sits or stretching to give you stability. Wall sits will work out your quads and glutes and stretching before and after exercises will reduce your risks of injury.

You really will be surprised at the number of household objects you can use for working out and improving your strength. Why not take a look around the house and get creative!?

Check out fitness social media accounts

You can find a range of fitness accounts and personal trainers on social media who will post workout ideas and tips. The best part about this is that you can learn from professionals from the comfort of your home and a lot of the content you find will be free to view!

Create a routine

Set yourself a time of the day to complete your workouts. Creating and settling into a routine will help to keep you on track, so the first thing you need to do is decide on a time that works best for you; a popular time for exercising is in the mornings as this can help you to feel energised for the remainder of the day. It is also important for you to plan what workouts you are going to do and what part of the body you are focusing on; this will help to keep the exercise fun and fresh so that you don’t get bored and slip out of the habit of exercising!

It is also a good idea to keep a logbook to record your workouts in - this will allow you to monitor how much exercise you’re getting and will help you plan for future workouts. 

Compliment your exercise with a healthy diet

If you want to keep fit at home, it’s important to remember that both exercise and maintaining a healthy diet are equally important, particularly if you’re trying to lose weight. If you’re not sure how much you should be eating from the different food groups, check out the NHS Eatwell Guide.

Keep fit exercises at home

To get you started, we have put together some home workout ideas for you to try:

Warm up

As we’ve mentioned, warming up is an important part of your exercise routine as it helps to prevent injuries. Here’s what you can do:

  • Stretches - make sure you dedicate some time for stretching your body. You can try:
  • Hip-circles. Standing straight with your feel slightly wider than shoulder width apart, bend your knees a little and put your hands on your hips. You will then begin to slowly rotate your hips to make large circles, do this clockwise for 30 seconds and then repeat this exercise going anticlockwise for another 30 seconds. 
  • Standing quad stretches. Standing, bend one knee back by holding onto your ankle with one hand. Bending your knee back as far as you can, hold this pose for 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite leg for another 30 seconds. Feel free to press your hand up against a wall as you do this for balance. 
  • Child’s pose. Kneel on a mat with knees set wider than hip-width apart, sitting back on your heels. You will then fold forward (your tummy should rest on your thighs), extending your arms out in front of you. You will feel your body stretch at the shoulders, back, hips and glutes so it is a great stretch for targeting multiple areas of your body. Hold this pose for 30 seconds. 
  • Cross-body stretches. You can do this standing or sitting up straight. Simply take one arm above your elbow with the opposite hand and pull it across your body towards your chest, you should begin to feel your shoulder stretching. Hold this pose for 30 seconds and repeat the stretch on the other side. 
  • Marching on the spot, moving your arms in rhythm with your steps.
  • Arm circles, swinging your arms forward in a circular motion 10 times and repeating the exercise in the opposite direction.
  • Jump rope - jumping rope is a great way to get your heart rate up! Simply jump rope for 2 minutes on the spot - make sure you have plenty of space to do this to avoid knocking anything over in your house! You can do this even without a rope, just use an imaginary one!

Cardio workouts

Star jumps

Standing up straight with your arms by your side and knees slightly bent, jump up and extend both your arms and legs out into a star shape. When you land, your knees should come together and your hands should return by your side. Remember to keep your back straight as you complete this exercise and aim to do 2 sets of 20 star jumps. 

Jog on the spot

Jogging on the spot is an easy way to get your heart rate up. As you lift your feet off of the ground and hop from one foot to the other, make sure you remember to move your arms to the rhythm of your jogging. As jogging inside is less exciting than going for a run outside, you can switch it up by alternating jogging for 1 minute with other strength exercises, such as completing a set of 10 squats. This will prevent you from getting bored and allow you to catch your breath. 

Jump rope

Jump rope can be a great warm-up exercise, but if you are hungry for more, you can jump rope in between strength workouts, similar to the routine we discussed for jogging on the spot. 

For more intense exercise ideas, take a look at our introduction to HIIT workouts

Strength training

Push-ups

  • Start with your chest and tummy flat on the floor. Your legs can either be straight out behind you or kneeling (kneeling is best for beginners) and your palms should be beneath your chest, with your arms bent at a 45 degree angle. 
  • You will then push from either your hands (if in the kneeling position) or, from both your hands and heels if completing a standard push up, remembering to exhale as you do this.
  • Pause in the plank position for a couple of seconds (this helps to engage your core)
  • Slowly lower yourself back into the starting position, inhaling as you do so.

Squats

Work out your legs and glutes with a set of 10 squats. Squatting feels like you’re sitting down on a chair but you need to maintain good posture to avoid damaging your knees. Here’s what you do:

  • As you squat, keep your bottom pushed out (like you’re about to sit down on a chair)
  • Using your hip and thigh muscles, push yourself back up but be careful not to press your knees forward as you do so. 

Hip bridges

You can work out your hip and back muscles with hip bridges. Laying on your back with your feet hip-width apart and flat on the ground, squeeze your bottom and lift your hips up from the floor. Hold this position for a few seconds and slowly lower yourself back down, repeating the exercise 9 more times. 

These are just some of the exercises you can do from the comfort of your own home. For more ideas, why not check out a fitness account on social media or YouTube, such as Joe Wicks, to learn new simple workouts. 

Final takeaways for keeping fit at home

Keeping fit at home is easy when you know how to, but maintaining your new fitness regime can be challenging. Here’s a few last words of advice to keep you on track:

  • Be strict with yourself to manage your routine
  • Switch-up your exercises to keep workouts fresh and fun
  • Keep hydrated
  • Try out some online classes so that you can follow professionals and feel like you’re part of a community
  • Maintain a balanced diet
  • Take rest breaks to allow your body to recover

Looking to get active?

If you live in Dorset and you’re looking for support in getting more active, we’re here to help! Our dedicated team of coaches and advisors will be on hand to help you in becoming more active and to reach your goals. You can register or talk to our friendly team today to help guide you on your journey to keeping fit and healthy. 

Georgina

"In January 2019, I was five stone heavier. Now, with the weight loss, parkrun and netball, my anxiety has improved tenfold."

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How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

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